Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Dwight Yoakam, G. Love, and More - McDowell Mountain Music Festival - 3/30/14
Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Dwight Yoakam, G. Love, and More
McDowell Mountain Music Festival
I love music festivals for one simple reason: there are always surprises. And the final day of McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2014 on Sunday was filled with said surprises for the eyes and ears as I watched it unfold from the very beginning to the very end. Some acts I could rely on to please my ears and others I did not expect, nevertheless, I chose to cover Sunday at MMMF because of the sheer diversity of the day's lineup.
In turn, I was richly rewarded for my choice. I wasn't surprised by the light turnout at the start of the day, as it was 11:30 on a Sunday morning, after all. It was impressive that I was up at that hour, honestly, but as the day rolled on, the crowd grew stronger and increasingly larger and filled the field at Margaret T. Hance Park by the afternoon/
Since I like being in it for the long haul, was there early and one of the enticements was that The Wiley Ones were opening the festival on the main stage and they couldn't have been more deserving of that honor. I honestly can't think of a more joyful band to set start your day at a festival than The Wiley Ones.
Frankly, their music and the charitable work they do inspires me continuously and watching them on a festival stage performing so many of my favorite songs inspired me further. They opened with "Kill It With Love" and went through a stream of should-be singles such as "Shallow Water," "Sick of the Scene," and "Seize the Day."
Bassist Jay Nottingham gets the award for best sunglasses of the day, while Phelan Parker is distinguished by being the only DJ to scratch on the main stage all day. Josh Montag was totally in command of the drum kit and of course Sam Wiley was the ringmaster, spreading joy to all with his lyrics of positivity and perseverance, and in a rare treat his sister Cristiana joined them on stage. It was an excellent start.